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Week In Review Thumbnail

Week In Review

Bills That Have Passed The Senate

S.231 – Student Identification Card Suicide Prevention: A bill to require a public school, including a charter school, that serves 7-12th grades to print on a student identification card the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as the number for at least one additional crisis resource selected by the school district.

S.464 / H.3194 – Santee Cooper Reform: A bill to provide comprehensive, long-term reform measures to the Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper). The reforms include changes to terms and requirements of the Board of Directors, operations of Santee Cooper, approval process for rates, requirement of the Siting Act, submission of an integrated resource plan, oversight and audits, renewable energy, debt review and more. The Board would hold terms of service of four years and be prohibited from being appointed for more than three unexpired consecutive terms. Additionally, there would be added two nonvoting ex officio Board members representing the Chair of Central Electric Power and a Central Electric board member chosen by Central’s board. Any benefit, such as severance, given to a board member must be approved by the Agency Head Salary Commission (AHSC). Beginning January 1, 2022, Santee Cooper Board members would begin transition of terms: terms for the 2nd and 4th Congressional districts and At-Large (Chair) would expire on that date followed by other districts each subsequent year on January 1: 1st and 7th and Berkeley County (2023); 3rd and 6th and At-Large (2024); 5th (2025). Current board members could not be reappointed unless the initial appointment was made after January 1, 2018. Santee Cooper would adopt pricing principles that would include a number of factors, including low cost, reliability, transparency, financial integrity, and customer equity.  It would also offer rate schedules to provide demand-side management and conservation to its customers.  Santee Cooper would have to notify customers of a potential retail rate adjustment and a process would be established to notify customers and provide an opportunity for comments/hearings before the board votes on a rate adjustment. Interim rates may be set; interim rates for emergency circumstances cannot last for more than 1 year. Santee Cooper would submit an annual pricing report to ORS who would comment on the report. Under the reform, Santee Cooper would be subject to the Siting Act, which requires PSC approval prior to constructing an electric generating plant of more than 75 MW or transmission line of at least 125 KV. Santee Cooper would be required to submit to the PSC an Integrated Resource Plan to describe the utility’s plans for the future in consultation with the electric cooperatives. The reform establishes a process for renewable energy procurement, competitive bid process and requirement of notice. Related to debt, Santee Cooper will provide a detailed financial report to the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees at least every other year. These committees would then provide a report to the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee and the House Legislative Oversight Committee, and must post its annual audited financial report online and provide it to the General Assembly. This is only a brief summary. A full summary may be provided upon request.

S.596 – Pre-Production Plastic Regulation: A bill to permit DHEC to regulate stormwater discharges of pre-production plastic at facilities that are not regulated based on existing criteria of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater Program. The department shall classify pre-production plastic as ‘other refuse’ for purposes of Water Classifications and Standards and promulgate regulations to best implement requirements for facilities, and prevent pre-production plastics into the waters or onto the land of the State.

S.628 – Pharmacy Access Act: A bill to establish protocol and processes for pharmacists in the state. The bill does not create a duty of care for a person who prescribes or dispenses a self-administered hormonal contraceptive or administers an injectable hormonal contraceptive. A person licensed under the South Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act may dispense to a patient eighteen years of age or older or under the age of eighteen with a written order, and other requirements including continuing education requirements.

S.635 – SC Research Authority Board of Trustees: A bill to make changes to the Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Research Authority so permit presidents’ designees of Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina at Columbia. A designee of the university presidents must be an individual serving in no less than a vice president or comparable role and report directly to the president. Each university president may designate only one person for each calendar year, except in cases of incapacity or other related incidents. Additionally, the bill extends the of a company to remain in an innovation center from up to four years to five years or until exceeding five million dollars in annual commercial revenue (previously one million), but may not apply with respect to thirty-five percent of the square feet in an innovation center.

Bills Given Second Reading

H.3017 – Palmetto Fellows Scholarships: A bill related to Palmetto Fellows Scholarship to include two-year institutions and technical institutions to those students who may be eligible for scholarships.

H.3101 – Disposition of Motor Vehicles by a Salvage Pool Operator: A bill to provide for the disposition of a motor vehicle in the possession of a salvage pool operator. A salvage pool operator who, on request of an insurance company, takes possession of a motor vehicle that is the subject of an insurance claim when the company denies coverage or does not otherwise take ownership of the vehicle. An insurance company shall notify the operator of the denial of the claim with certain requirements. The bill further defines terms and definitions of salvage, junk, and off-road use vehicles, and makes other conforming changes.

H.3179 – Surgically Implanted Drug Delivery Systems: A bill to exempt surgically implanted drug delivery systems from the thirty-one day supply limitation.

H.3539 – Transport of Live Swine: A bill to provide that it is unlawful to transport live swine on a public road or waterway unless the swine have an official form of identification approved by the State Veterinarian. Live swine transported without identification are presumed to have been taken from the wild and in violation. It is unlawful for a person to misuse or alter a permit, tag or other form of identification or attempt to obtain a permit, tag or form of identification by fraud or misrepresentation. Additionally, it is unlawful to import, possess, buy, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or transport a live member of the family Sudiae (pig) taken from the wild or release a Sudiae into the wild. Each pig imported, bought, offered for sale, possessed, transferred, transported or released in violation constitutes a separate offense.

H.3567 – DSS Investigations: A bill to provide investigations of abuse in qualified residential treatment programs, restrictions on foster care or adoption placements, and make other review requirements.

H.3689 – Internal Registration Plan: A bill to related to the registration and licensure of vehicles by DMV so that if a commercial motor vehicle is registered through the International Registration Plan and is operated under a USDOT number assigned to a person other than the vehicle’s owner, the person assigned may register the commercial motor vehicle by submitting the appropriate application and fees to the DMV.

H.3805 – Special Military License Plates: A bill to authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue various military special license plates to include Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, South Carolina Medal of Valor, Silver Star, Bronze Star (with valor) and the Soldier’s Medal, Gold Star Family, Prisoner of War, Purple Heart and others. The bill also repeals other Articles of the Code related to the plates.

H.3991 – Nonferrous Metals: A bill related to permits to purchase nonferrous metals, transportation and sale of nonferrous metals and related offenses. It includes the procedures for lawful purchase, sale and possession of used detached catalytic converters or any nonferrous part of one unless purchased or possess under certain circumstances.

H.4064 – Property Tax Exemptions: A bill to clarify that manufacturing property owned or leased by a public utility regulated by the PSC does not qualify for a particular percent exemption. To the extent any monies are refunded or credited t a public utility, must be flowed through to customers as a reduction in rates as appropriate.

This Week In Committee

Finance Committee

H.4100 – State Budget: A bill to provide for the ordinary expenses of the State Government for fiscal year July 1 2021 - 2022.

H.4101 – Capital Reserve Fund: A joint resolution to appropriate monies from the capital reserve fund for FY 202-2021, and to allow for unexpended funds appropriated to be carried forward to succeeding fiscal years for the same purpose.

Fish, Game and Forestry Committee

H.3545 – Hunting Island: A bill to remove references to residential areas related to Hunting Island and to remove certain actions that the Department may undertake to secure payment obligations.

H.3884 – Transmit of Documents: A bill to authorize the Department of Natural Resources to transmit certain documents electronically for a certificate of title, to allow the collection of an electronic transmission fee and require the use of an electronic lien system for businesses and lenders engaged in the sale of watercraft and outboard motors or the financing of watercraft or outbound motors.

H.3957 – Catch and Size Limits: A bill to decrease the catch limit from ten to give and increase the size limit from fifteen to sixteen inches, or more than twenty inches not to exceed two per boat, for flounder.

The information provided in this review is not intended to represent Senator Bennett's approval or disapproval but rather a listing of the activity and outcomes within the South Carolina Senate. You may find Senator Bennett's voting record here.